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Bits of Business | Bellefonte wireless store to reopen

The Wireless Made Simple store in Bellefonte will repoen soon after a January fire closed the retailer.
The Wireless Made Simple store in Bellefonte will repoen soon after a January fire closed the retailer. CDT photo

Wireless Made Simple won’t lose its Bellefonte connection.

The store, a premium retailer for Verizon Wireless, will have a grand reopening in early July after it survived a fire in January.

Store owner Eric Bruckner said staying in Bellefonte was important to him.

“We are thrilled,” he said. “It was our first store, and it means a lot to us to reopen it in the same spot and not leave downtown. Bellefonte has been very supportive during the rebuild and the new space will be a wonderful improvement including many period correct features.”

The fire was sparked by an electrical connection that ignited.

“Unfortunately, the fire started inside a shelf in a display, so we could not see the exact cause, but we know where it was and how it spread, which was minimal,” Bruckner said. “The fire department got there quite quickly and extinguished it. The heat and smoke is what got the place good.”

The store had to be gutted due to heat and smoke damage, causing a delayed rebuild.

Wireless Made Simple also has locations in the Nittany Mall and Johnstown.

Move it to the music

Not too many employees can say they bought their boss’s business.

Alex Nepa, however, can check that off his bucket list.

The local disc jockey recently bought Local Motion, which employed him since 2003, and rebranded it as Mint DJ Events.

“The company’s identity is a big part of the change, because to a certain extent Local Motion was or sounded a little dated I think,” Nepa said. “With Mint DJ rebranding I think it sounds and will offer a more modern, cool, upscale vibe.”

Nepa bought the company, which Dan Myers owned for 28 years, because he felt the talent was already in place.

“We want to be different from other companies,” Nepa said. “We do lighting and design and offer online planning for clients. We want to be known as talented DJs, not guys with a laptop, props and inflatables.”

Giving Starbucks a new look

The Starbucks on North Atherton Street will reopen its doors soon.

The cafe’s drive-through has operated, but the inside shop has been closed due to remodeling for weeks.

A Starbucks spokesperson said via email that renovations focused on updates to the interior furnishings and adding The Clover, a new brewing system and the first in the State College area.

Customers who use The Clover will “discover new layers and dimensions within a coffee’s familiar aroma, flavor, body and acidity, brewed fresh by the cup,” the spokesperson said.

In addition to handcrafted beverages and food, the store will offer Starbucks Reserve, a collection of rare, small-lot coffees selected from farms around the world.

Back on track

Ed Forsythe Jr. was sad when he realized a $1 bill was missing from its box.

Moments before, he was shocked by the carnage around him. His store’s door was crushed and valuable inventory was missing from shelves in February.

There was $38,000 in stolen inventory, but that dollar hurt the most.

“On the counter there was a box of candy bars I sold for the youth of Yeagertown Methodist Church,” Forsythe said. “They took their money. They took things that didn’t belong to me, things I was repairing for other people. That’s the hard part.”

Forsythe felt so violated by the burglary he considered closing the business, but friends, family and customers convinced him otherwise.

“My wife and I felt like we couldn’t let the scum of the earth defeat us,” he said. “We put things back together, and so many people jumped in to help.”

Ed’s Train Repair and Sales in Yeagertown recently reopened with newly installed security measures, so that hopefully no one can ever swipe a train set, or a donation, again.